A Barometer of Modernity: Village performances in the highlands of West Sumatra

Paul H. Mason
Vol 31, Number 2, p.148
Silek Minang is a local genre of West Sumatran martial arts that is nationally recognised in Indonesia as Pencak Silat. Music is absent in Silek Minang training but accompanies public performances to create a multimodal sensory experience that taps deeply into sentiments of cultural heritage. These holistic representations of tradition serve to maintain a regional sense of identity in the midst of growing nationalist and global influences. With a consideration of modernity, globalisation, and changing modes of cultural transmission, this article discusses a selection of performance genres including Silek Minang during a religious festival in the hinterland of West Sumatra.